Two WRTA bus routes could come back to Trumbull County, Commissioners will decide
Some Trumbull County bus routes that were shut down in September could be coming back.
At Wednesday’s regular meeting, the County Commissioner will vote whether to put $150,000 of the county's fund towards the WRTA. If passed, that money would be matched by the city of Warren and a state grant would provide $300,000.
The total amount of $600,000 would fund two bus routes in the center of Trumbull County for one year.
“This isn’t a long term solution for transportation by any means but it is a bridge to the future and it is something to provide services, now, to people that lost it,” Commissioner Denny Malloy said. “We will be working over the next year to come up with a long term solution.”
The bus routes would be the 75 - Northwest route that goes to Parkman Road and the 74 - Elm route that goes to Elm Road in Warren. Five total bus routes were discontinued by WRTA in September of 2023 due to lack of funding, leaving some in the county without crucial transportation to jobs and doctors appointments.
“I think with these two routes it's going to solve part of the problem. It’s not going to be a cure all for everybody but we will be working on that, rolling up our sleeves to try to find a more permanent solution for transportation in the county looking at all avenues not just WRTA, everything's going to be on the table over the next year,” Commissioner Malloy said.
The $150k item on the agenda only needs the majority to pass. Commissioner Malloy and Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa both told 21 News they plan to vote “yes” at the meeting and fund the bus routes.
Commissioner Cantalamessa said in a statement, “This is a great collaboration between the county and the city of Warren. We realized that with the price of everything going up, now is not the time to ask for more money by way of a sales tax increase. Through this MOU we are able to provide a much needed service without asking for any more funding from businesses and families.”
21 News reached out to commissioner Niki Frenchko on how she will vote. “Though I’m grateful WRTA has taken the lead to help with a few routes because my colleagues dropped the ball, this is simply a band-aid on a hemorrhage due to refusal to plan,” Commissioner Frenchko said in a statement.
If the item is passed, the two routes are expected to start back up in March.
The 28 Warren Express that connects Warren to Youngstown will continue as normal.